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Blackwater National WildlifeRefugePartners with Chesapeake Bay Field Office to Improve Monitoring for Endangered Delmarva Peninsula Fox Squirrel
Northeast Region, September 15, 2010
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The Delmarva Peninsula fox squirrel was historically found throughout the Delmarva Peninsula, southeastern Pennsylvania, and possibly southern New Jersey.  However, this species was listed as federally endangered in 1967 due to severe reduction in its distribution, primarily attributed to habitat loss.   Monitoring Delmarva Peninsula fox squirrel populations is usually done using capture-mark-recapture procedures that involve trapping animals, marking them with a uniquely numbered tag and releasing them.   The trapping process is labor intensive and activity is limited by weather conditions.  This year Blackwater NWR partnered with the Chesapeake Bay Field Office to explore using remotely-triggered cameras to monitor squirrel populations.  Arrays of cameras have been set out on the refuge to 'capture' squirrels on film to document their distribution and relative abundance.  This technique, if proven to be effective, may provide us with a much more efficient tool for monitoring Delmarva Peninsula fox squirrel populations and assist in the recovery of this species. 

Contact Info: Matt Whitbeck, 410-228-2692 x115, matt_whitbeck@fws.gov



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